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Recovery from drugs and alcohol dependency is a lifelong process of reassessment and readjustment. As life throws its inevitable curveballs, new strategies may have to be made by individuals in recovery, in order to maintain healthy and fulfilling lives. An issue known as “dry drunk syndrome” may arise for some individuals as they move down their path of sobriety. Although most frequently seen during the first year of recovery, this issue may occur any time a former addict is sober but unhappy that they have to be. This is more than a passing craving; this is a prolonged state of mind that involves anger and depression, and poses a high danger for relapse.

Signs and Symptoms Your Loved One May Be Experiencing ‘Dry Drunk Syndrome’

No matter how either motivated or how unenthused someone was at the start of their sobriety, either scenario can lead to the following signs and symptoms:

  • A sense of hopelessness about future aspirations
  • Inability to express their feelings
  • Lack of clear decision-making ability
  • Cutting back on participation in aftercare service such as 12-Step meetings or counseling
  • Being excessively hard on themselves
  • Mood swings
  • Blaming loved ones for their frustration or denying support for their goals
  • Extreme focus on themselves
  • Jealousy of others successes
  • Replacing an old addiction with a new one such as sex, online activities, gambling or work

How to Stop the Progression of ‘Dry Drunk Syndrome’

Here is a list of possible ways to get a fresh take on your recovery process:

  • Challenge yourself intellectually. Take a continuing education class or grab books from the library on topics you’ve always wondered about. Possibly take seminars or attend conferences to improve your resume.
  • Explore different spiritual teachings. If you are not religious, perhaps take this opportunity to explore a variety of spiritual teachings from around the world and see what resonates with you.
  • Do a hobby in your spare time. Start a new activity to make downtime enjoyable, rather than a time to dwell on your dissatisfaction.
  • Get physically fit. After years of addiction, take this opportunity to start fresh and mold your body through the use of a weekly routine.
  • Enjoy your family. You may have become distant with those you care about while under the influence, but you can make up for it now by developing positive, loving relationships.
  • Treatment is still an option. If you don’t feel you or your loved one is capable of getting over “dry drunk syndrome” without some extra help, don’t hesitate to contact us. Oftentimes additional rehabilitation is needed to stay sober for the long haul. If you would like assistance, give us a call now to discuss your options.
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